LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Hugh M. Hefner (HMH) Foundation is pleased to announce that it is accepting nominations for the HMH First Amendment Awards. Established in 1979 by Christie Hefner, former CEO of Playboy Enterprises Inc., the Awards honor individuals who have made significant contributions in the vital effort to protect and enhance First Amendment rights for all Americans.
“The importance of the First Amendment is brought to life in the actions of individuals who support and often fight to preserve and respect these values,” says Christie Hefner, Chairman of the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards.
The Award winners, many of whom are unsung heroes, have traditionally come from the areas of journalism, education, publishing, law, government, and entertainment (motion pictures, television, and theatre) and have gone to great lengths and personal sacrifice to fight for the preservation of the first amendment.
Winners of the 2012 Awards included, Pablo Alvarado (Law): For successfully using the First Amendment to challenge ordinances that prevented day laborers from soliciting work on city sidewalks in Redondo Beach, California; Zack Kopplin (Education): Who led the effort to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act, stealth legislation to promote the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in public school science class; Thomas Drake (Government), Who shared an award with Jessica Radack, who represented him in his case for blowing the whistle on his employer the National Security Agency for massive waste, contract fraud, government wrongdoing and violations of the 4th Amendment rights of U.S. citizens; Rebecca MacKinnon (Book Publishing): For her first book, Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom, published by Basic Books in January 2012; and Stanley Sheinbaum (Lifetime Achievement): For his unmatched vision and courage on important issues including civil rights and civil liberties, economic justice, human rights, police reform, and world peace.
Each year the judges, like the winners, are dedicated advocates of the First Amendment. This year's judges are:
Henry Weinstein is Founding Faculty, with Joint appointments in Literary Journalism and Law at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law.
Professor Weinstein served as a legal affairs writer, labor writer, and investigative reporter at the Los Angeles Times from 1978-2008.
He is a recipient of the prestigious John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, for his body of work that has been recognized as “a monument to the importance of journalism in a free society, and the need for journalists who have the persistence and skill to dig into complex issues and lay them bare for the public.”
A native of Los Angeles, Weinstein received a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a law degree from the university's Boalt Hall School of Law. He reported for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the San Francisco Examiner before joining the Los Angeles Times in 1978.
Pamela Samuelson is Faculty Director, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology and Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law. She is recognized as a pioneer in digital copyright law, intellectual property, cyberlaw and information policy. Since 1996, she has held a joint appointment at Berkeley Law School and UC Berkeley's School of Information. Samuelson is a director of the internationally-renowned Berkeley Center for Law & Technology. She serves on the board of directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, as well as on the advisory boards for the Center for Democracy & Technology, Public Knowledge, and the Berkeley Center for New Media.
Professor Samuelson has written and published extensively in the areas of copyright, software protection and cyberlaw. Her recent publications include: The Google Book Settlement as Copyright Reform, (2011) Wisc. L. Rev. 478; Legislative Alternatives to the Google Book Settlement, 34 Colum. J. L. & Arts; Google Book Search and the Future of Books in Cyberspace, 94 Minn. L. Rev. 1308 (2010); and Statutory Damages in U.S. Copyright Law: A Remedy in Need of Reform, 51 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 439 (2009) (with Tara Wheatland).
Professor Samuelson received bachelor and graduate degrees from the University of Hawaii, and a law degree from Yale University.
Dr. Charles C. Haynes is director of the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum and a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center. He writes and speaks extensively on religious liberty and religion in American public life.
Dr. Haynes is best known for his work on First Amendment issues in public schools. Over the past two decades, he has been the principal organizer and drafter of consensus guidelines on religious liberty in schools, endorsed by a broad range of religious and educational organizations.
He is the author or co-author of six books, including First Freedoms: A Documentary History of First Amendment Rights in America (2006) and Religion in American Public Life. He is a founding board member of the Character Education Partnership and serves on the steering committee of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools. Dr. Haynes also chairs the Committee on Religious Liberty of the National Council of Churches.
Dr. Haynes holds a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School and a doctorate from Emory University.
The 2012 judges included: Hector Villagra, Executive Director of ACLU of Southern California (ACLU-SC), who was instrumental in helping protect a Buddhist congregation's First Amendment rights to religious freedom after the City of Garden Grove denied the Quan Am Temple's request for a building permit; Former Democratic Representative Patricia Scott Schroeder served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American; and Robert Scheer is Editor-in-Chief of Truthdig, a news website that provides expert coverage of current affairs.
A press reception with the judges and winners will be held in late spring/early summer 2013, to honor and to present the winners with a cash award of $5,000 and a commemorative plaque. Nominations will close on January 21, 2013. For nomination forms and a complete list of past winners and judges click here: http://hmhfoundation.org/site/?page_id=90/
About the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation
The Hugh M. Hefner Foundation was established to facilitate individual rights in a democratic society. The primary purpose of the foundation is to support organizations that advocate for and defend civil rights and civil liberties with special emphasis on First Amendment rights and rational sex and drug policies.